Man gets 14-year prison term for killing woman PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 March 2012 16:36

After eight years of trial of a homicide case involving the death of a young woman, Regional Trial Court Branch 24 Acting Presiding Judge Josefino Bael in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay found  the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced him to a prison term of eight years as minimum to 14 years as maximum.

The court decision was promulgated last January 10, 2012 in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Private prosecutor Atty. Emmanuel Opay handled case right after the killing of Jennyveb P. Aguas in the evening of  July 20, 2004 in Barangay Buayan, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Atty. Opay said the accused, Lenito Baire, was arrested after the incident but he posted a bail for his temporary liberty.

Aguas’ half naked body was found inside a well at past 10 p.m. on July 20, 2004 in Barangay Buayan, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay. Medical record showed that her death was caused by drowning.

During the trial, Opay in the prosecution panel presented all the evidence and witnesses pointing to Baire as the person who drowned Aguas in the well after he allegedly tried to rape her.

One of the prosecution’s witnesses, PO2 Angelito Tayan, who testified on July 16, 2007 said that around 10:30 a.m. of July 21, 2004, he was instructed by his superior to conduct a follow-up operation in connection of the killing of Aguas.

Tayan found some fingerprints from the well where the victim’s body was found leading to Baire’s house.

Around 3 p.m. of the same day, Tayan and some other policemen went to the house of Baire at Purok 2, Buayan, Kabasalan and recovered the victim’s
short pants and underwear hidden at the back of the Baire’s house.

SPO2 Danilo Cayon, also a witness, testified that after Aguas’ body was recovered inside the well, they proceeded to the Baire residence and with the permission of the suspect’s parents who denied the presence of the accused, entered the house and found thereat Baire hiding underneath. He was immediately arrested and brought to the police station for investigation.

Another prosecution witness presented by Atty. Opay in court was Teodora Ombajino, who testified that around 9 p.m. of July 20, 2004, while she and her family were inside their house located along the highway in Buayan, she and her husband heard the voice of a male calling for help. That was Virgil Gora, the companion of Baire who fetched Aguas to their house several minutes before the killing took place.

Gora told Ombajino that Baire was dragging Aguas towards the dimly lit area and was trying to rape her.

Gora tried to pacify but Baire warned him not to get closer otherwise he will be harmed.
Gora told Ombajino that he saw Baire pulled Aguas and both of them fell on the ground.

Gora and Ombajino and her husband went to the dimly lit area where the former saw Baire dragging Aguas until they reached a well where they saw bubbles in the water. Later on they found Aguas who was apparently breathless.

Gora and Ombajino and her husband noticed that Aguas was half naked without short pants and underwear.

They tried to apply artificial resuscitation on Aguas but she was already dead.

Furthermore,  Ombajino testified that she saw Baire walking towards their house coming out of the well.

Gora who was considered as the eyewitness executed a sworn statement in which he narrated how the killing took place.

The defense lawyers — Atty. Flordabbie Daarol and Atty. Gerald Al Mendoza —  filed a motion to dismiss by way of a Demurrer to Evidence, on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. However, the court denied the motion in a Resolution dated January 7, 2011 for lack of merit and ordered the defense to present evidence. However the counsel for the accused opted not to present any evidence.

On August 12, 2011, memorandum for the accused was filed while on August 15, 2011 the prosecution through its private counsel under the supervision and control of the handling prosecutor filed its memorandum and a rejoinder-memorandum on August 24, 2011. Thereafter the case was submitted for decision.

The court ruled that in the evening of July 20, 2004 Jennyveb Aguas, a resident of Buayan, Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay was picked up or fetched from their house by Lenito Baire and Virgil Gora. They left the house without asking permission from Aguas’ mother Emma.

Some hours later, at around 10 p.m. of the same date,  Emma was informed by their neighbors that Jennyveb was killed by drowning by Baire.

“Wherefore, judgment rendered found accused Lenito Baire, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of homicide, defined and penalized under article 249 of the Revised Penal Code,” Baire was sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of eight years of prision mayor as minimum to 14 years and eight months of reclusion temporal as maximum. He has no credit for preventive imprisonment since he is bonded. He is further ordered to indemnify the heirs of Aguas in the amount of P50,000 and death indemnity, P30,000 for funeral expenses and P50,000 as moral damages and to pay the cost.  — Dan Toribio Jr.